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Massachusetts man charged regarding fatal bicycle accident

Authorities have charged a man for not staying at an accident scene involving another man's death. The man who died was killed as a result of a bicycle accident. Now, many residents of Massachusetts are calling for changes to be made in the way these types of criminal charges are handled.

The man who has initially been charged with leaving the scene of the fatal wreck could still be facing other charges as a result of this accident, since the prosecutor is still reviewing the accident. He has denied being aware of the cyclist's presence near his vehicle. He was operating a refuse truck at the time. While the bicycle and truck apparently collided, the driver has claimed that he was unaware that anyone struck his vehicle. Rather, he claims that he just thought he struck a pothole in the roadway.

Investigators have concluded that the bike rider was alongside and to the right of the larger vehicle, apparently in a bike lane. It was suggested that the accident happened when the truck made a right turn across the path of the bicycle. This type of accident is referred to as a right-hook and is illegal under specified circumstances. It is not clear at this time if the man will face further charges with respect to the victim's death, although the authorities are said to be reviewing the matter.

Now, concerned residents in Massachusetts are calling for tougher sanctions against drivers who hurt or kill bicyclists. This bicycle accident is just the latest in a string of similar fatal collisions. Regardless of what criminal revisions may be made to the laws in the future, this victim's family will now have to deal with the heartbreaking loss this accident has caused them. They have already commenced a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the trucking company as well as the truck driver as a result of the fatal crash. If they can establish the driver was negligent, a civil court could order the entry of a judgment for the financial losses sustained as a consequence of this tragedy.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Bike activists push for harsher penalties after cyclist's death", Martine Powers, April 4, 2014

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